Events

Show/No Show

The Distance Project 39
Two years ago I visited Home Close, the field that’s the site of the annual Winslow Show. It was the August bank holiday, the day the show should have been on.

Of course it wasn’t held that year or the next, but I took some photos of the empty field, and posted them here on the North Bucks Wanderer.

I went back this year, for the first show since 2019. I duplicated my shots from my 2020 visit, and what a difference! I saw no social distancing going on and very few mask wearers. I took other photos too, and you can see a couple at the end of this post.

The Distance Project 18
Carrying on With the New Normal

Social Distancing Project 158(18th Sept 2020) This was taken on the August bank holiday Monday. On any other year the Winslow Show would have just opened and pedestrians would be walking in through this gate. The field, just across the road from Winslow Hall on Sheep Street, Winslow would be filled by the show.
I remember going to this show as a child, when it was called the Winslow Gymkhana.

Social Distancing Project 272(2022) At 9:30 am I saw a steady flow of people going through the gate; I‘d overheard a couple of stewards saying that show visitors were coming unusually early this year. The atmosphere was very relaxed.

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The Queen

The Queen  Buddhist temple.

The Monday Photo

At the Buddhist temple in Willen, Milton Keynes, these two pictures of the Queen are arranged as a small shrine.

The small photo in the white frame is from the opening of the Civic Offices, in 1979. Monks presented the Queen with a statue of the Buddha.

I burned incense in her memory at this shrine on Wednesday. Today, of course, is her funeral.

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Hands Up!

Boys at the Winslow Show

The Monday Photo

As I walked camera in hand from the Winslow Show, this cheeky lad presented his toy gun to me and said, “Give me your money or I’ll shoot you”

“Not if I shoot you first” I replied, and raised up my camera, switching it on and firing off today’s photo without even glancing at the controls. I didn’t even break stride.

“I shot you first” I said.

“No you didn’t!”

I just laughed at his cheekiness and kept on going. His partner in crime, also armed, is just on the edge of the photo.

There will be more shots from the Winslow Show soon. I made a point of going this year as part of the Distance Project, as I’m now revisiting previous subjects to see what’s changed now the lockdown is (Mostly) over.

Yep, I know the focus is off but I don't care; I've caught the moment.

I used a Sony A6000 and zoom lens for this photo.

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Light Relief

Peace Lanterns

The Monday Photo

These are peace lanterns, all lit and ready to go; just some of the 200 lanterns that were pushed out on to North Willen Lake on Hiroshima Day, 6th August.

I know this was a few weeks ago, but this picture had to join the queue of Monday photos, and also this ain’t no news blog.

The ceremony, held by the monks and nuns of the Peace Pagoda and Buddhist temple at Willen, starts at the pagoda as the sun sets. Then as darkness fell the lanterns are all carried down to the lake side, where temple volunteers take them out on to the water.

I used to be a regular volunteer at the temple, and I’ve had a hand in all the stages of lantern construction.

I’ve seen the design evolve over the years. Over a dozen years ago we were using tea lights to illuminate the lanterns, but found their light was too low down.

Now the lanterns use half a candle, just the right length to put the flame half way up the lantern. The old empty tea lights are there to prevent the base getting scorched. If you look closely you can see blackening on a couple of the lanterns, but those are very old bases.

Origami
The four origami peace cranes on the top corners are a fairly new innovation; this year just one volunteer made them for all 200 lanterns.

The bases are made to suit a particular size of tissue paper. In the weeks before the ceremony it’s not unknown for a temple visitor to find themselves decorating the lantern tissue.

Every year as the day approaches the bases are dragged out of storage to be inspected and counted; every year a few have to be replaced. It’s a surprisingly quick job to knock out a batch of new bases to bring the number back up to 200. The shrine room in the temple gets filled with lanterns in various stages of construction, and just in time the lanterns are ready.

The day after the ceremony temple volunteers borrow the Parks Trust’s boat. They spend hours on the lake finding all the lanterns. The bases are cleaned and left to dry so they can go back in storage, ready for next year.

As you can see there’s far more to the Hiroshima Day Ceremony than just turning up, and it’s the same with many other events when most of the work is done by volunteers.

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteering in your local area. While the Peace Pagoda wouldn’t mind a few more volunteers, there are plenty of other places too in North Bucks. It wouldn’t be too hard to find volunteering work in a field you are interested in, and there’s the socialising part of it too.

Since you are reading this blog, you might like to do something at your local museum. Give it a try!

If you find volunteering not for you, not to worry; this being England, you’ll at least get tea and biscuits…

This post's photo waas taken with a Pentax camera and lens.

I make a small percentage from sales through Amazon links, no matter what you buy while you visit their site from here. This helps me but costs you nothing, so if you make a purchase via the NBW, thank you.

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Lighting the Way and Staying Closer

The Distance Project 37

Now it’s been over a year since the lockdown rules were almost completely relaxed, I’ve been returning to some previous subjects. There’s been a few changes...

This is the second post comparing things now and in lockdown; the previous one, How Have Things Changed After Lockdown? was just last week. Dates for older photos refer to the day the original post went live. The first few shots are from social calls in 2020, and the comparison shots from a few weeks ago. The earlier shots have their original captions.

The Rules Are Relaxed
The Distance Project 6 (4th June 2020)

I wrote in 2020:

Some restrictions were relaxed on Monday, so there’s been a few changes in behaviour. The more vulnerable are allowed to venture out, though there are still some curbs on what they can do. Visitors in the garden are now permitted.

 

Social Distancing Project 48(2020) My sister in law has been bringing “the boys”, my nephews, to see me nearly every week since they were babies; they are now 19 and 21. With the lockdown in place, this couldn’t happen. But with the changes to the restrictions, the whole family came to see me on Tuesday.
They brought camping chairs, biscuits and drinks. I sat at my garden table. It was great; nothing beats seeing the people you care about, face to face.

 

Social Distancing Project 266(2022) Two years later we are all sitting at the same garden table. My sister in law couldn’t make it, but here is my brother and the boys. Before, they couldn’t come in my house and we had to socialise in the garden. This time we chose to sit outside because the weather was nice. As soon as it was allowed in July 2021 we had started to socialise at close range again.

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How Have Things Changed After Lockdown?

The Distance Project 36
It’s been about a year since the Covid regulations were almost completely relaxed, and I’ve been returning to some of my subjects to see what has changed and what hasn’t.

I’m going to show you some of the earlier photos with their original captions, and some of the same subjects (mostly) that I’ve taken in the past weeks. There will also be excerpts from the original posts.

There will be more Distance Project posts this year, most of them showing you old and new shots like this post. Yes, I know the earlier shots are from two years ago, but it all depends on which subjects I can practically return to.

Not Live in Stony, and few folk on the Green
The Distance Project 7 (18th June 2020)

I wrote:

“On Sunday 14th June, another regular event had been planned to take place in the town, on Horsefair Green. It’s called Folk on the Green. In previous years the green is filled with people, there’s a stage half way down one side, and stalls line the edge of the green and the road that goes by it.

“Taking these photos has been a sad experience for me; I look forward to these two events every year, and normally I would have seen a score of bands by the end of the week.

And although this has been a fascinating photographic project for me, I would far rather have been in the pub, tapping my feet and bopping along to the music.

But next year, next year…”

Little did I know…

Social Distancing Project 57(2020) At 12:30 on this Sunday afternoon, Horsefair Green was supposed to be full with the annual Folk on the Green event. Instead, cyclists and walkers cut across between opposite corners. The stage is normally halfway along the right hand side, with stalls lined up to its left and right. Most of the grass would be covered by the audience, many on picnic rugs or camping chairs. I took this photo from the usual location of the outside bar.

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